Cocoa butter is the fatty oil extracted from cocoa beans, which are the fruits of the cocoa plant (Theobroma cacao L.). Cocoa beans have been harvested for centuries in Central and South America for their impressive health benefits.1
Cocoa butter is produced by fermenting and roasting raw cocoa beans. During this process, the cocoa butter (fat) separates from the solid bean. Cocoa butter is a smooth, meltable butter that resembles shea butter or coconut oil. Cocoa butter remains in solid form at room temperature. But like coconut oil, it will melt and become an oily product when temperatures rise.1
Cocoa butter that hasn’t been heated to high temperatures during processing, is often called “pure” or “raw” cocoa butter. Cocoa butter is often listed as an ingredient in several products, including chocolate. It can sometimes go by the name theobroma oil. Cocoa butter is a primary ingredient in many skin care products.
Cocoa Butter Health Uses and Health Benefits
Cocoa butter is considered a high antioxidant product. It contains flavonoids and polyphenols, which are important for preventing damage caused by free radicals. Cocoa butter, especially raw cocoa butter, contains high levels of healthy fats. These healthy fats are good for nutrition and don’t increase bad cholesterol levels.1,2
Cocoa butter benefits are known to be important for improving and protecting heart health because of their healthy fats and antioxidants. Cocoa butter for skin health is also well known. Many skin care products contain cocoa butter because of its natural hydrating properties. Cocoa butter is safe to use topically and can help reduce inflammation and irritation caused by different types of skin conditions.1
Other cocoa butter benefits include:
Cocoa butter uses include being a natural way to cure the following conditions:
Cocoa Butter Side Effects and Precautions
There are no known cocoa butter side effects. Cocoa butter can be eaten, applied topically or used in cooking. It’s also safe to use on babies and children. In some cases, certain people may experience individual cocoa butter side effects due to allergies.